15 year old Autumn Peltier, from the Wikwemikong First Nation peoples of Canada, is an internationally recognized “water warrior”. She addressed world leaders at the UN General Assembly on the issue of water protection in 2018 and has spent five years advocating for clean water.
Peltier lives on the Unceded Anishinaabe Territory on Manitoulin Island in Northern Ontario, which is land officially owned by indigenous people, rather than the national Government. She began her advocacy for water at the age of eight after attending a ceremony at the Serpent River Reservation and seeing a warning sign against drinking the water. It was here that she learned that not everyone in Canada has access to clean drinking water.
The activist has been nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize in 2017, 2018, and 2019. She was given the Water Warrior Award at the Water Docs Film Festival in Toronto in 2019, and the Young Leader Award at the Ontario Municipal Social Services Association this year.
In addition, she presented Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with a copper water pot confronted the leader his support for oil pipelines through indigenous territory at the Assembly of First Nations. Many environmentalists fear that these projects will further pollute water resources. In response to Peltier’s intervention, the Assembly of First Nations to created the Niabi Odacidae fund, which protects water resources for future generations.
In April 2019, she was named Chief Water Commissioner by the Anishinabek Nation — a position previously held by her great aunt, Josephine Mandamin.Tags: Activism, Canada, clean water, Climate crisis